Nature reclaims its place: Viral by Jess Riva Cooper

At first glance, they look like feminine busts with floral print, very romanticism meets baroque. A closer look reveals many more layers than I’ve expected. Some even look rather ‘medusa’-like, unfortunately. However, it’s undeniable that the sculptures are visually striking and memorable.

The intricacy of the details is impressive. What looks like standard busts you see in art class are covered with flowers and leaves, printed or in relief. Overgrown and enfolding the busts, the force of nature and the stillness of porcelain provide a haunting imagery.

Created by Jess Riva Cooper, a ceramic artist and educator based in Toronto, this series was done during her artist residency at John Michael Kohler Arts Centre.

Cooper says, “In my art practice, I integrate colour, drawing and clay to create installation-based artwork. I investigate fallen economic and environmental climates in regions such as Detroit, Michigan, where houses have become feral, disappearing behind ivy, trees and Kudzu vines that were planted generations ago. In my sculptures, the world sprouts plant matter. Colour and form burst forth from quiet gardens and bring chaos to ordered spaces. Nature reclaims its place by creeping over structures. Wild floral growth subverts past states, creating the preternatural from this transformation.”


Viral Series (2013), Ceramic, glaze, decal, 11″ x 8.3″ x 18″

Happy Good friday!

x Sybil

(Images from Jess Riva Cooper)

As delicate as lace: Ceramics by Hitomi Hosono

Exquisitely delicate and detailed, the sculptures created by Hitomi Hosono are as intricate as lace.

”I sculpted a leaf that I found in the garden at home.  It was a simple leaf, not particularly special amongst other leaves.  However, when I started sculpting its shape with clay, I was drawn into its intricacy; the manner in which the veins were branching, how the margins ended. I found many details that I admired in this small leaf. It is my intention to transfer the leaf’s beauty and detail into my ceramic work, using it as my own language to weave new stories for objects.” Hitomi Hosono.

Hosono had trained in Japan, Denmark and London before going on to win awards such as Homes & Gardens Designer Award and Graphic Art on Ceramics at the Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Tajimi, Japan.  Her works are found in Porcelain Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, Wedgwood Museum and The Oriental Museum in the University of Durham, UK.

Hitomi Hosono: Leaves Bowl

Leaves Bowl, 2011
Moulded and hand-built porcelain

Hitomi Hosono: Chrysanthemum Tower

Chrysanthemum Tower, 2011
Moulded and hand-built Limoges porcelain

Hitomi Hosono: Black Wisteria Square Box

Black Wisteria Square Box, 2012
Moulded and hand-built black porcelain with gold leaf interior

Hitomi Hosono: Snow Cherry Blossom Box

Snow Cherry Blossom Box, 2013
Moulded and hand-built porcelain with gold leaf interior

I would love to own one of her porcelain boxes, especially a black one.  It’s breathtakingly beautiful in an unconventional way.

x Sybil

(Images from Hitomi Hosono and Adrian Sassoon)

Seven Deadly Sins: Love gone wrong

I am not religious so I don’t want to go into details about the seven deadly sins but I’m mentioning them because they are the subject of artist Barnaby Barford‘s new series of work.  The seven sins are Pride, Sloth, Gluttony, Wrath, Lust, Envy and Avarice, which Barford interprets as simply “love gone wrong”.

Barnaby Barford

He explains it further, “We are all hard-wired to desire power, love, possessions. That’s probably the way all humans have been like,” he says. “It’s not fundamentally bad to desire things but what interests me is the way these ‘sins’ can motivate people. How does the idea of ‘sin’ affect people these days when we live in a largely secular society? What are the consequences?”

Barnaby Barford

The reason is seven mirrors, each representing one of the seven sin.  The mirrors feature an arrangement of clusters of filigree flowers and foliage.  However, a close look shows that the hand-made ceramic flowers and leaves carry images which represent Barford’s interpretation of the seven sins.  Barford also decided that viewers of his work should find themselves not just reflecting on the ideas he has presented to them but also, literally, reflected within the mirror.  “You see the piece and you see yourself within it,” he says.  The mirrors are human in scale and reflect the viewer in full length.

The desire for money is plainly seen in below detail of Avarice which features florets of various currencies.  “The obsession for wealth can be seen both reflexively and reflectively, demonstrating desire and seeing the truth,” explained Barford.

Barnaby Barford

Barford’s take on Gluttony is quite witty.  The flower petals as shown in below detail feature fragments of takeaway food menus and fast food advertisements.

Barnaby Barford

Needless to say, Lust carries the most straightforward interpretation.  The flowers bear images of a porn star’s face in varying states of ecstasy.

Barnaby Barford

Barford graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2002 and has been showing mainly ceramic sculptures in much smaller scale.  He has had several solo exhibitions in the UK and his works are part of both private and public collections.  Catch the exhibition at David Gill Galleries, 2-4 King Street
,  London
, SW1Y 6QP
, before it ends on 12 April 2013.

x Sybil

(Images from Barnaby Barford)

Lace in the form of ceramics – Janet Stahelin Edmondson

I’m in the midst of working with my tattoo artist on a design for my wrist and my creative brief includes key words such as delicate, intricate and very fine lines.  Ceramics artist Janet Stahelin Edmondson’s works fit my creative brief perfectly.  She magnifies the fine texture and translucency of porcelain in her craft, creating works that resembles lace in some ways.

Edmondson’s family is in the fashion and textile industry and her grandfather supplied the fabric for the dresses worn by the Queen and Queen Mother at Princess Margaret’s wedding.  For her new works, she used antique lace and fabrics she inherited as the source of patterns which she imprints into fine porcelain.

Edmondson was trained in Three Dimensional Design specializing in Ceramics and Silversmithing at the Manchester School of Art.  Her earlier works drew on influences she picked up from her visits to Japan, particularly to Kyoto.

Her pieces are functional, they come in forms of a jug, a vase, a candle stick, or a bowl.  I especially like the jug.  They are reasonably priced and available for sale at Miratis.

x Sybil

(Images from Matthew Booth Photography)

%d bloggers like this: